Four Australians are in the top 20 after the opening round of the Deloitte Ladies Open being played at The International, a challenging new course next to Schipol Airport in Amsterdam.
Leading the way is Queensland’s Bree Arthur who posted a three-under par 70 in the warmer afternoon conditions to be in a share of fourth position and only four shots behind outright leader Swede Camilla Lennarth.
On a day when temperature barely managed to get in double figures, the Australians are performing well. Nikki Campbell is a further shot back from Arthur and tied for 10th, while Stacey Keating and Nikki Garrett both shot one-under to be in a share of 17th position.
Lennarth, who is a rookie, fired a career best round of seven-under-66, which include five birdies and an eagle and to take a three stroke lead over France’s Gwladys Nocera and Norway’s Benedikte Grotvedt.
After a bitterly cold start to the day, she took advantage of the warmer afternoon conditions, posting four birdies on the back nine before picking up three further shots on her last two holes.
“Before I teed off I saw the leaders at three-under and I was a little surprised,” said Lennarth. “I just aimed for a par on every hole and things went my way. I made some putts and that gave me some momentum.
Of the six players in a group at three-under-par, which includes Arthur, only England’s Melissa Reid and Denmark’s Line Vedel started early, in temperatures hovering around 7C for most of the morning.
Reid, the 2010 event winner at Broekpolder, said: “It was so cold this morning that you couldn’t warm up and you were shivering putting your ball on the tee so the mental side was to get over that. When you’re freezing you have to keep your body warm and your hands warm and that’s the biggest challenge.”
Western Australian Kristie Smith, who is playing mainly in America this year, signed for an even par round to be tied for 23rd, while Whitney Hillier and Karen Lunn are at two-over and tied for 49th.
The cut is currently projected to be two-over. New Zealand’s Cathryn Bristow, NSW Rebecca Artis and Victorian Alison Whitaker are all just one shot outside the projected cut. South Australians Stephanie Na and Sarah King are a shot further back and will have a little more work to do to make it to the week-end.
The defending champion, Spain’s Carlota Ciganda, was part of a large group a shot further back at two-under-par and will be five shots off the lead going into the weekend.